Boston Marathon poses new challenge for Kipchoge: slow down

April 16, 2023  -BOSTON (AP) — World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge has the speed to outclass the rest of the field when he makes his Boston Marathon debut on Monday.

To win, he may have to slow things down.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist and 12-time major marathon champion knows that the 26.2-mile route from Hopkinton to Boston’s Back Bay isn’t like those flat and friendly courses where he established himself as perhaps the greatest distance runner of all time.

No matter, he said: Breaking the tape is what’s important.

Regardless of how long it takes.

“I don’t mind about time,” said Kipchoge, who set the world record of 2 hours, 1 minute, 9 seconds in Berlin in 2019 and also broke 2 hours in an exhibition in a Vienna park that year. “I trust it will be a fruitful race, a very fruitful race. But I will try to win.”

The hilly Boston course, which begins with a descent, hits Heartbreak Hill around 20 miles in and then drops down to sea level again on the way to the finish, has always rewarded smart tactics more than pure speed. Kipchoge, who had never seen the course before this week, won his majors in Berlin, London, Chicago and Tokyo — all flatter and faster.

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